F1

Lewis Hamilton tests positive for covid-19, to miss Sakhir GP

A positive coronavirus test means Mercedes will be without Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton for this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix.

Hamilton to miss Sakhir GP after positive COVID-19 test

Lewis Hamilton will miss this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix after testing positive for covid-19, Mercedes confirmed this morning. The seven-time Formula One champion has returned two positive results since Monday, when he was informed a contact prior to his arrival in Bahrain had contracted the virus.

Mercedes said that Hamilton, who is in isolation with mild symptoms, had tested negative three times prior to the Bahrain Grand Prix last week. While the Silver Arrows have not confirmed who will stand in for Hamilton, their official reserve drivers are Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutiérrez.

A team statement read: "The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team regrets to announce that Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be unable to take part in this weekend's Sakhir GP. Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard race weekend testing programme. However, he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive. Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest. Lewis is now isolating in accordance with COVID-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines in Bahrain. Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery. We will announce our replacement driver plans for this weekend in due course."

Hamilton sealed the F1 title at the Turkish Grand Prix and was triumphant in the first part of a double-header in Bahrain on Sunday. He becomes the third driver to miss a grand prix after a positive coronavirus test, following Sergio Pérez at Silverstone – where he sat out both races – and Lance Stroll in Germany. Nico Hulkenberg stepped in for Racing Point when Pérez and Stroll were ruled out and could be an option for Mercedes this weekend too.